We’re ten days in to the 2013 January transfer window and the usual bombardment of rumours and links have not disappointed – but how have the top teams in the Premier League been getting on in their latest recruitment processes?
Manchester United are currently sitting pretty at the top of the table by seven points over rivals Manchester City, but even many of their fans feel certain that additions need to be made.
Chelsea are in third but struggling and the Stamford Bridge crowd have been crying for a managerial change as much as any personnel tinkering.
Tottenham Hotspur are on a good run of form, but their inconsistency has been exemplified by their early season wobbles late in games, so some January shopping may be advisable.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger continues to infuriate Gunners fans by flipping between saying he is looking for “one or two” signings, to insisting they need to concentrate on getting Theo Walcott to sign a new deal.
GMF have assessed the comings and goings in the window and have identified what each side needs to do in the final two thirds left of the window.
Business done: Nobody has been brought in so far but a number of youngsters have been sent out on loan, while Joshua king and Robbie Brady have been sold.
What needs to be done? Sir Alex Ferguson is well stocked in the attacking department, but the defence has been shaky and the midfield seems to lack something. Perhaps a defensive midfielder like Victor Wanyama of Celtic to better shield the back four, but Ferguson appears content with outscoring opponents for the time being.
Business done: Nothing. Roberto Mancini was moaning about not getting the players he wanted in the summer and has recently suggested there may be no movement in or out of the Etihad Stadium.
What needs to be done? City have not been scoring as freely as they were last season, while defensively they appear a touch less solid. The goals conceded could be down to missing Nigel de Jong, but the club’s billionaire owners are unlikely to sanction another addition to that area with Javi Garcia and Jack Rodwell acquired in the summer.
They have a wealth of options in the striking department, but Edin Dzeko has been inconsistent and Mario Balotelli continues to be a conundrum. Perhaps a new face to refresh things will help but, again, it will likely have to be after offloading others.
Business Done: Surprise, surprise; nothing in. Wenger continues to frustrate by waiting for the perfect deal, but he has gone about offloading some of the deadwood in the Gunners squad. Marouane Chamkh has gone to West Ham, Johan Djourou joined Hannover and Andrey Arshavin is expected to leave.
What needs to be done? Where do you start? Inconsistencies up front suggest a proven and experienced goalscorer is needed. The lack of a natural defensive midfielder has meant Mikel Arteta being deployed in an unfamiliar role, so a more naturally defensive player, like Lucas Biglia, to lighten some of the load would be wise.
Walcott’s contract needs to be sorted one way or another and recent reports have suggested it is close. Add this to the return to action of Abou Diaby and don’t be surprised to hear Wenger say something along the lines of it ‘being like two new signings’.
Business Done: Yes! Promising young Germany international Lewis Holtby was secured on a pre-contract agreement to come for free in the summer, so will make little difference to this season. Ex-Manchester United defender Zeki Fryers was signed from Standard Liege, much to the anger of Sir Alex Ferguson.
What needs to be done? Emmanuel Adebayor’s U-turn on international retirement has left Andre Villas-Boas with only Jermain Defoe up front and, despite his assertions otherwise, he should be looking for more natural cover than Clint Dempsey or Mousa Dembele.
Spurs look relatively sound in defence and the return of Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto should only improve things for them in that department.
Business Done: Demba Ba has been brought in from Newcastle United to provide some competition for Fernando Torres, while Daniel Sturridge was finally allowed to leave and joined Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool.
What needs to be done? John Terry’s leadership is being missed in defence and a stopper of similar stature would not go amiss, although there are unlikely to be many of those around.
A defensive midfielder would be a shrewd addition as Oriol Romeu is a long-term injury casualty, John Obi Mikel is away at the Africa Cup of Nations and David Luiz is unfamiliar in that position. Rafael Benitez has a formidable squad at his disposal and should not need to do more than he already has in the transfer market.
What do you think these clubs should be doing in the transfer market? Leave a comment below to let us know…